- “Well maybe it's not supposed to be like the movie. Kira is the key you're the one who said it.”
- ―Samantha Evelyn Cook aka Art3mis in the Shining movie
Art3mis is the secondary protagonist and famous gunter and a member of the High Five in Ready Player One. She is first mentioned in Chapter 0002. She is the writer of "Arty's Missives," a blog dedicated to her search of Halliday's egg. Wade/Parzival describes her blog as a collection essays and Almanac interpretations, written in an endearing and intelligent voice. He then admits to having a crush on her, which is frequently addressed throughout the book and proves to complicate their competition.
Art3mis is intelligent, brave, kind, spunky, independent, selfless, funny, and bold. She is extremely knowledgeable of "gunter" culture. Art3mis is fiercely protective of her freedom and doesn't like to rely on anyone else — especially when it comes to gunting. Furthermore, Art3mis doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve; while Wade confesses his undying love for her, she remains hesitant and cautious, believing online romance to be impossible. Her refusal to return that four-letter word to Wade implies that she's motivated by her goals as a gunter as opposed to those as a love-hungry teenager.
She may succumb to her feelings after the final battle, but it's important to note that she refused to meet with Wade beforehand. This decision indicates her values, as if to say, "let's get the job done first."
In the book, Wade describes Art3mis' avatar as raven-haired and beautiful. She has a pretty face: hazel eyes, a pointy chin, rounded cheekbones, and a perpetual smirk. He also adds that her features look realistic, in comparison to the other avatars, as if her actual face had been scanned into OASIS as a skin. He has also referred to her avatar's body as "unusual."
In the film, the hair of Art3mis's avatar is pink instead of black.
After finding her file in the IOI (Innovative Online Industries) database, Wade discovers that Art3mis looks identical to her OASIS avatar with the exception of a birthmark, a port-wine stain on the left side of her face which she attempts to cover with her hair.
The file also mentions that she is 5'7" (1.7 m) and 168 lb (76 kg).
Toward the end of the novel, it is revealed that her former address is 2206 Greenleaf Lane, Vancouver, British Columbia. Her former house is also described as small and suburban.
- “Art3mis: (PANTING) This isn’t a game, Z. I’m doing this to stop IOI. I’m talking about real-world consequences. People suffering. Actual life-and-death stuff.
(Parzival: I know I know-)
Art3mis: No, you don't know! My dad died in a loyalty center. He borrowed gear. (SNIFFLES) He built up debt. He moved in with the promise of working it off, but he never did. IOI just raised his living expenses, then he got sick, and he couldn't afford to get out. And then he died!
(Parzival: I'm so sorry, I didn't--)
Art3mis: No, you don't live in the real world, Z. From what you've told me, I don't think you ever have. You live inside this... This illusion, and I can't afford to let you distract me.”
- ―Samantha telling Wade about her father died
- “Art3mis: Sorry about the blindfold. My guys are a little paranoid.
(Parzival: Say that again.)
Art3mis: My guys are a little paranoid.
Art3mis: My real name is Samantha, but yeah, I'm Art3mis. Showers are that way, clean clothes, too.”
- ―Wade meets Samantha
- “This isn't what I really look like. This isn't my real body... or my real face.”
- ―Art3mis to Parzival
- “You forget what it’s like to be outside”
- ―Samantha to Wade